We often think of nutrition when we think of getting in shape, losing weight, or keeping our hearts healthy. But the concept of eating better food to ease pain may not even be on your radar. Nutrition can have a huge impact on mitigating sore spots.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut refers to the opening up of the tight junctions between the delicate cells that line the small intestines and the colon allowing large food particles to pass directly into the bloodstream. The body then activates an immune response to protect itself from these foreign invading food particles. The immune system releases chemicals that can trigger abnormal pain responses in the abdomen and elsewhere in the body. It is common to be sensitive to foods,the kind that causes your face to swell and your breathing to constrict. Over time with exposure to foods that you are sensitive to, the lining of the small intestines and the colon can become “leaky”.
Eliminate the foods that are damaging your digestive system. Do not eat the foods that people are most commonly sensitive to for three weeks. These include foods such as soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, sugar and sweeteners, and corn. Then once the body has had a chance to calm down the immune reaction to these foods, add them back in slowly, one at a time, and watch for symptoms like congestion, skin breakouts, bowel changes, or pain. Talk to your doctor or nutrition professional.
When your entire body or an area of your body is chronically inflamed(red, swollen, painful, and hot)eventually the inflammation itself becomes the problem.There are many causes of chronic inflammation including chronic stress and chronic exposure to environmental toxins. One of the most common is chronic exposure to pro-inflammatory foods such as dairy proteins, gluten, and protein from unhealthy animal sources that have been altered in their chemistry by industrial farming methods.These altered proteins can have endotoxin-like effects(have toxins within their cell membranes) that when the proteins are leaked through the gut, can leak toxic material to cells throughout the body. These altered proteins can actually contribute to leaky gut syndrome. The combination of endotoxin-like activity and worsening of a leaky gut can contribute to a full-body attack of inflammation. When your entire body is inflamed, it can result in pain and fatigue throughout the entire body.
Dr. Andrew Weil first made famous the anti-inflammatory food pyramid. The foods on this pyramid can be a good place to start, except for any foods you might be sensitive to. Consume Soy only if you are not sensitive to it, if it is not genetically modified, and if it is in a traditionally fermented form.
Our bodies consist of more bacterial DNA than human DNA, so it is important that we take great care of the friendly bugs that make our bodies their home and keep the infectious bugs at bay. There is a tremendous amount of research going on right now in the field of “The Gut Microbiome”,describing the delicate community of bacteria that live in our digestive systems. Alterations in the gut microbiome can cause problems with pain regulation, even in the brain and the spinal cord.
Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and exposure to chemicals in your food, including animal antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides. Even short-term exposure to these substances can significantly affect the physiology, structure, and gene expression of the bugs in your gut. Choose foods that are not processed, or do not contain chemical additives on the label. You can take probiotic supplements, but a tastier way to add good bugs is to eat fermented foods.
There are many reasons that your morning aches and pains or even your debilitating, chronic pain relate to what you are eating.
Eating the foods that are good for your overall health and your waistline can also help to relieve your pain. Start figuring out what foods your body is sensitive to. Then eliminate them for a while to allow the lining of your intestines to heal.
Then, eat foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature. Anti-inflammatory foods are
Colorful vegetables and fruits
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds
Healthy fats like coconut and olive oil
Spices and flavor enhancing foods like garlic, onion, turmeric, and cinnamon
Foods high in anti-oxidants like green or white tea
And even the occasional square of dark chocolate
Finally, round out your pain-relief diet. Keep the chemicals and unnecessary antibiotics out. Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir to add in friendly gut bacteria.